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The College of Education

A sense of purpose, a sense of place.

Our Mission

Preparing knowledgeable, effective, and caring educators to contribute to a just, diverse, and democratic society

Education Determines Our Destiny

Since its founding in 1931, the College of Education at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa has been preparing Hawai‘i’s educational leaders. The College of Education (COE) is the primary educator preparation institution in the State. In addition, faculty provide specialized training in selected areas through professional development opportunities for educators, conduct research, and provide community service in their areas of expertise. 

The COE is nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and is consistently ranked in the top 100 of the best graduate schools of education in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
The COE is a large complex college consisting of nearly 400 faculty and staff organized in 13 units, including 8 academic departments, 2 research units (the Curriculum Research & Development Group and the Center on Disability Studies), technology and distance programs, the Office of Student Academic Services, and the Dean’s office. 

The College offers 5 undergraduate degrees, 2 post-baccalaureate certificates, 4 graduate certificates, 9 masters degrees, and 3 doctoral degrees. The existing PhD programs include educational psychology, a college-wide degree with specializations in curriculum and instruction, educational foundations, educational administration, educational technology, exceptionalities, kinesiology and rehabilitation science, or policy studies, and an EdD in professional education practice.

Rising to the Challenge

In recent years, the College of Education has risen to the challenges of the times by committing vital resources to Hawai‘i’s areas of greatest need—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), special education, early childhood education, Ho‘okulaiwi Native Hawaiian education and research, and many others. The COE is addressing Hawai‘i’s teacher shortage through innovative programs that focus on recruiting talented undergraduates to become classroom teachers, hybrid distance education programs that utilize state-of-the-art technology to reach students statewide, and increasing scholarship support for aspiring educators.

Challenges Facing Education in Hawai‘i

Throughout our programs, the college prepares a diverse set of educators who are grappling with some of the most profound issues ever to face education in Hawai‘i, including

  • A rapid increase in using instructional technology in the classroom.
  • A commitment to improving early learning in and out of school;
  • An increasing emphasis on and demand for STEM education in our schools;
  • A diverse student population that encompasses an enormous spectrum of ethnicities, languages, values and expectations
  • A continuing shortage of educationally qualified and culturally aware teachers;

Did You Know?

  • Approximately 2,000 students are enrolled in the College; approximately half are in undergraduate and half are in graduate degree/certificate programs.
  • The College produces more than 65 percent of the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s workforce. Our graduates teach on every island in the state and at virtually every school—public or private—in Hawai‘i. 
  • The College awards approximately 700 degrees/certificates each year. 
  • Approximately 400 graduates are recommended for teaching licenses by the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board as program completers each year.
  • Our graduates are leaders in education in Hawai‘i—in the classroom, as administrators, and as policy makers, curriculum developers, and program evaluators.
  • COE provides over 100 research and professional development service projects to students, teachers and schools on all neighbor islands.
    • The College maintains high standards for its graduates. Mean grade point average (GPA) in the UHM undergraduate general core requirements taken in the first two years was 3.25 for students admitted to College of Education (COE) undergraduate teacher preparation programs in Fall 2012. The MEdT program requires a GPA of 3.0 or better for admission. All students must pass the Praxis I exams in reading, writing, and mathematics prior to admission.
    • HIDOE cooperating/mentor teachers must be tenured and recommended by their school principal to supervise student teachers.
  • Remote delivery of numerous traditional face-to-face courses has been made possible through technology-based delivery. The college’s outreach and technology offerings increasing use distance education formats, such as interactive video and Internet sites and other electronic delivery modes.
  • The College provides Internet-based test-preparation for prospective teachers and expanded the interactive television infrastructure for teacher education and professional development. The College now has three masters degree programs available fully on line.

Improving Education: Teachers and Leadership

We pride ourselves on preparing educators at all levels to contribute to a just, diverse, and democratic society, while developing a sense of purpose and a sense of place reflecting our unique location.

Private Gifts Contribute to Excellence

As we work to meet today’s challenges in education, we are setting the stage to anticipate—and meet—the challenges of the future. Financial support from our alumni, friends, foundations and corporate partners is more critical today than ever. Private gifts allow us to better support our students through scholarships and fellowships, retain current faculty and attract new faculty, and expand promising educational initiatives.

Facilities and Donor Recognition

Our donors’ support has a rippling impact in classrooms across the State. Teachers and educators touch and shape the future through the work they do. 

Most of the College’s funding priorities, including new and remodeled buildings, have the potential to be named as desired by our generous donors. 

Endowed funds that support faculty and/or students, endowed research funds, and endowed program support funds may be named to honor the donor or a loved one, forever linking a family name with the important work being accomplished by the College of Education

Funding Priorities

General Endowment

A substantial College of Education General Endowment enables the college to plan with the knowledge that funding sources for essential long-term initiatives are available and to assure the College’s future by enabling promising new programs and projects in specific areas of specialization.

Innovative programs and projects require considerable time and planning to design and launch.

With additional support, more successful programs can be extended and expanded and new ones developed. Program innovation has yielded tangible practical applications of cutting edge research, including the establishment of learning communities and the successful implementation of new technologies to boost learning.

Academic Excellence

Endowed Professorial and Scholar Chair Positions permit the College to attract more outstanding instructional and research faculty. Just as quality teachers are the key to excellence in K-12 education, outstanding college faculty members provide the critical ingredient to quality in teacher education and leadership development. Increased competition from other professions and the relatively high-cost of living in Hawai‘i make it increasingly difficult for the College to compete for the best and brightest scholars. 

Support for Students with scholarships and fellowships make the difference between going to College and completing a degree having to make a different career choice. Graduate assistantships enable the College to attract and prepare top quality candidates and better ensure they will graduate on time. A particular need is for funds that will enable our students to study abroad or away from Hawai‘i. In today’s global society experiencing education through others’ eyes in different places is a valuable asset to preparing educators to contribute to a just, diverse, and democratic society.

Outreach Programs

Outreach programs provide much-needed teacher education and advanced professional development opportunities on neighbor islands and in the rural areas of Oahu. Despite great strides in addressing the demand for programs on the neighbor islands, the need remains great. Expanding the college’s outreach and technology capabilities is a high priority and needs community support.

Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this,
please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.